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ED raids Karti Chidambaram’s premises in Delhi, Chennai

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New Delhi:The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted searches at multiple premises linked to Karti Chidambaram, the son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case.

Official sources said the raids are being conducted in Delhi and Chennai since early morning.

The central probe agency, on December 1 last year, had conducted similar searches on the premises of a relative of Karti and others in this case.

 

The ED case pertains to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2006 by the then finance minister P Chidambaram.

The agency had said it is investigating “the circumstances of the said FIPB approval granted by the then finance minister (P Chidambaram)”.

The ED also alleged that Karti had “disposed” of a property in Gurugram, which he had allegedly rented out to a multinational company “to whom foreign direct investment (FDI) approval had been granted in 2013”.

It charged that Karti had “also closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment” under the PMLA.

The agency said FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March 2006 by the then FM even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and beyond that it required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

“In the instant case, the approval for FDI of 800 million USD (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, CCEA was competent to grant approval.

“However, approval was not obtained from CCEA,” it alleged. PTI


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SC asks Ayodhya mediation panel to submit report by July 31

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Mumbai: The Supreme Court asked the mediation panel Ayodhya land dispute to submit its final report by July 31. The next date for hearing in the case has been scheduled for August 2. The case is being heard in the top court by a five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer.

After going through the report of the mediation panel, the apex court will decide if daily hearing should be conducted in the case. The court also said that the findings of the panel would not be taken on record, citing its confidentiality clause.

The Supreme Court had earlier granted the three-member mediation panel time till August 15 to find a solution in the Ayodhya land dispute case. The committee, which submitted its interim report in a sealed cover to the top court in May, had sought additional time.

 

Notably, senior advocate PS Narsimha, who is arguing in the case for litigant Gopal Singh Visharad, had told the Supreme Court during last hearing that not much progress was happening with regard to the functioning of the three-member mediation panel.

His claims were countered by advocate Rajiv Dhawan, who is representing the Muslim litigants, saying that it was not the time to raise questions on the functioning of the mediation panel. He had backed the argument of Nirmohi Akhada’s counsel Gopal Singh, who had told the court the panel was moving in the right direction.

The panel was constituted on March 8 and former judge FM Kalifulla, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar and eminent lawyer Sriram Panchu were named as its members. They were told to keep their findings confidential and were allowed to include more members if needed.

On September 30, 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ruled that the disputed land would be divided into three parts. According to the ruling of the High Court, the site with idol of Ramlalla was allotted to Ramlalla Virajman, Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara was given to Nirmohi Akhada and the remaining land was allotted to Sunni Waqf Board.

The decision was appealed against in the Supreme Court. On May 9, 2011, the Supreme Court had stayed the Allahabad High Court order, agreeing to hear the pleas.

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IB warns of jailbreak plot being hatched at Bihar’s Beur prison

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Mumbai: An alert by the Intelligence Bureau has sent the Beur jail administration near Patna in a tizzy. The IB has warned that some prisoners in the jail might be planning a major jailbreak. Following the input, the Bihar Police on Wednesday night stepped up security around the jail and launched search operations inside the premises.

What adds to the worries of the police administration in the state is the fact that several dreaded criminals and terrorists are lodged inside Beur jail. Terrorists who carried out serial blasts at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan in 2013 are also inside the prison.

The Beur jail also houses some dreaded terrorists who hail from Bangladesh. Also, several Naxal operatives and those convicted of serious criminal offence are lodged inside it.

 

Notably, a Naxalite named Ajay Kanu, who is the prime accused in infamous Jehanabad jail break case of 2005, is also serving a sentence inside the Beur jail. The Jehanabad jail break was planned from inside the prison and carried out successfully on November 13, 2005.

Apart from Kanu, several terrorists such as Umar Siddiqui, Azharuddin, Imtiaz Ansari, Ahmed Hussain, Fakhruddin Ahmed, Feroz Alam, Noman Ansari, Iftekhar Alam, Haidar Ali and Mujibullah.

The threat of Beur jailbreak reminds of the Jehanabad jailbreak incident wherein Naxals had planned and carried out an attack to make Kanu escape from the prison. He was wanted by police departments of several states, including Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

Having a bounty of Rs 5 lakh on his head, Kanu was arrested more than a decade back while he was on his way from Dhanbad to Kolkata.

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At least 27 killed, over 55 lakh affected as flood waters inundate 29 districts of Assam

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GUWAHATI: At least 27 people have died and over 55 lakh affected as flood situation remained grim in 29 districts of Assam . Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said in a bulletin that one rhinoceros has died in Kaziranga National Park due to floodwater. The bulletin added that Brahmaputra and its tributaries are still flowing above the danger mark in Guwahati and several other places in the state.

According to ASDMA, four people have lost their lives in Morigaon, two each in Sonitpur and Udalguri districts and one each in Kamrup (Metro) and Nagaon districts. ASDMA said that over 1.50 lakh people have been displaced from their homes due to flood. They displaced people have taken shelter in 427 relief camps and 392 relief distribution centres set up by state government in different districts of the state.

Vast areas of Kaziranga, Manas National Parks and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary were inundated due to flood waters, forcing rhinos and several other animals to run towards the highlands to save their lives.

 

The Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger level in Jorhat, Tezpur, Guwahati, Goalpara and Dhubri along with rivers Burhidehing at Khowang in Dibrugarh district, Subansiri river at Badatighat in Lakhimpur, Dhansiri river at at Numaligarh in Golaghat district, Jia Bharali river at Sonitpur, Kopili river at Kampur and Dharamtul in Nagaon district. The ASDMA bulletin said that several roads have broken due to flood waters.

Several teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are working in affected districts to provide relief to the affected people. It is learnt that the NDRF and SDRF teams have evacuated around 15,000 people from flood-hot areas so far.

The Northeast Frontier Railway has slowed down trains in Abhayapuri-Jogighopa section as villagers from nearby areas have taken shelter in railway embankment to escape the fury of flood.

The chief public relations officer of Northeast Frontier Railway, Pranav Jyoti Sharma, said on Wednesday that many villagers have been taking shelter on the railway embankment in the Goalpara – Jogighopa section after their homes were destroyed by flood waters.

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